A California man who suffered a cardiac arrest has been saved by his grandson and medics who gave him CPR for 70 minutes – as doctors say his survival is a miracle.
David Mills, 67, went into cardiac arrest at his San Diego home in April and his 25-year-old grandson started chest compressions while on the phone with first medics.
The man was revived thanks to the ‘chain of survival,’ which is the series of events that must happen quickly ‘to maximize the chances of survival.’
‘I feel great, I feel lucky to be here,’ Mills told FOX 5 San Diego.
Mills’ doctors say he had less than a one percent chance at survival with favorable neurological outcomes after 60 minutes of CPR.
‘He didn’t have a pulse for over 70 minutes,’ Dr. Andrew Fischer said, calling his survival and recovery with his cognitive abilities intact ‘quite amazing.’
David Mills (pictured right) is ‘lucky’ to be alive after suffering cardiac arrest at his Sand Diego home and having CPR performed on his for 70 minutes while he did not have a pulse
‘He didn’t have a pulse for over 70 minutes,’ Dr. Andrew Fischer (pictured) said, calling his survival and recovery with his cognitive abilities intact ‘quite amazing’
According to David’s wife, Georgia Mills, she had been in another room of their Southern California home when she heard her husband making strange noises.
She found him unconscious and without a pulse and immediately called 911 as her grandson, Jacob, began performing CPR with the help of dispatchers.
‘Starting CPR immediately is critical as the brain can only go about four to six minutes without oxygen before permanent damage occurs,’ said Dr. Fischer.
‘Too often, bystanders wait for the paramedics to arrive, which can be too late. People who go into SCA (cardiac arrest) still have residual oxygen in their blood and hands-only CPR can keep that blood circulating until help gets there,’ he continued.
Georgia said between Jacob and first responders, they were inside the home for 40 minutes performing CPR nonstop.
The medics transported Mills to the Tri-City Medical Center in North County where additional CPR occurred with minimal interruptions’ until he was stable.
The cause of his cardiac arrest was ventricular fibrillation (VFib) which is a malfunction of the heart’s normal rhythm.
VFib causes the heart to stop pumping blood to the body and can deprive the brain and lungs of oxygen, which is needed for normal life functions.
According to doctors, the brain can only survive four to six minutes without oxygen.
‘Starting CPR immediately is critical as the brain can only go about four to six minutes without oxygen before permanent damage occurs,’ said Dr. Fischer
The medics transported Mills to the Tri-City Medical Center (pictured) in North County where additional CPR occurred with minimal interruptions’ until he was stable
Another step in the chain of survival for Mills was a shock using an automated external defibrillator (AED) which shocks the heart back into rhythm.
Thanks to the quick work of his grandson, the first responders, and hospital staff, doctors were able to establish a pulse.
Doctors inserted a stent into David’s heart. An EKG revealed that his cardiac arrest was caused by a blocked artery.
Due to the length of the CPR process, there were still concerns about him regaining consciousness or his overall cognitive abilities which is why doctors were shocked by his recovery.
‘His nurse, they’re saying… ‘oh my God you’re here, I was just going to call you, his eyes are open,’ Georgia told the SoCal outlet.
‘His ICU doctor two doors down leaned out of the room and he said ‘what did you say?” Georgia continued, sharing how doctors were baffled.
‘Medical data indicates that after about 45 minutes and definitely beyond 60 minutes, the chances of survival and having a favorable neurological outcome are less than 1%. This is why David’s survival and full recovery is so amazing.’
David’s cardiac arrest was caused by a blocked artery in his heart
‘He’s my miracle man right here,’ Georgia (pictured) said
David’s full recovery is considered a testament to the ‘chain of survival.’
‘Everything about it is miraculous,’ Georgia said as David agreed.
‘He’s my miracle man right here,’ she continued.
David said he is feeling ‘physically stronger every day and is emotionally very optimistic about his future.’